Viewpoints: No, The Virus Was Not The Great Equalizer; Vaccine Rollout Must Prioritize Intellectual Disabilities
Opinion writers weigh in on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The New York Times:
We Did Not Suffer Equally
The past year was devastating. Weddings, holidays and celebrations were put on hold as social life was suspended. Anxiety, distress and loneliness soared, careers stalled, and jobs disappeared. Over 500,000 people in the United States lost their lives. At the start, it felt that we were all in it together. As affluent international travelers, celebrities and heads of government contracted the virus, many believed Covid-19 would be a great equalizer. But as the weeks and months wore on, that was revealed to be an illusion. In America, your experience of lockdown — and of the pandemic as a whole — depended not on luck or chance or fortune. It was instead largely foretold by something far more prosaic: the position you held on the socioeconomic spectrum, by your class, race and gender. (Yaryna Serkez, 3/11)
COVID Anniversary: A Doctor's Lessons From A Year In The Pandemic
Thursday marks the first anniversary of when the greatest of nations was shut down by the smallest of viruses. March 11, 2020, was the day the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, cases were rising within our borders, and then-President Donald Trump could no longer credibly argue that the novel coronavirus would “magically disappear. ”At that time, there were roughly 1,200 cases in the USA and 40 deaths. One year from hell later and we have almost 30 million known infections and have lost more than 526,000 lives. The end is finally in sight, but it shouldn’t have taken us half a million dead mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers to get there. It is worth reflecting on the lessons we learned in the past 12 months, and ensure we put them into action before the next pandemic arrives. In particular, we need to trust science again and fill the gaps in our national public health policies. (Dr. Thomas K. Lew, 3/11)
Covid Long-Haulers Are Often Women. Maybe It'll Change The System's Perspective On Our Pain.
While more men have died of Covid-19 at time of writing, Frances Williams, a professor of genomic epidemiology at King's College London, says that preliminary data from the Covid Symptom Tracker app — which she helped develop — shows women are slightly more likely to suffer long-term effects following a Covid infection. By way of contrast, in post-viral fatigue, women outnumber men two to one. In chronic fatigue syndrome (or myalgic encephalomyelitis), they make up 85 percent of patients. (Gabrielle Jackson, 3/8)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Intellectual Disability Is The Top Unspoken Risk Factor For COVID-19. So Why Is It Not Prioritized For Vaccine?
Imagine: Your family is a happy one. Your adult child lives with you. She is content and industrious. She has therapy three days a week and has started a small business making and selling dog biscuits with some of her peers in one of her therapeutic groups. Like everyone else, you are concerned about COVID-19. You are older but not in the age where vaccination is currently eligible. Some of your daughter’s therapists still come to the house. They also go to the houses of other clients. Every day you worry what will happen if you get exposed and sick from COVID-19, not just for your own sake, but for hers. You also worry about her getting sick. And you should. (Wendy Ross 3/11)
Bay Area News Group:
California’s Blue Shield Vaccine Deal Rife With Problems
It would not have been fair to expect Gov. Gavin Newsom’s response to the coronavirus to be neat and orderly. After all, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. We haven’t been through this before. There is no simple playbook, especially for a state as large and complex as California. The governor and state officials have had to figure it out as they go along. Such is the nature of an unprecedented crisis. To a certain extent, that helps explain the confusion over the state’s testing, the bungled attempt at contact tracing, the constantly changing criteria for sheltering and reopening businesses, and the botched effort to reopen schools. (3/11)